12 Tips for growing thicker hair & managing hair loss

I discuss outer beauty a lot on this blog, but I also try to balance those posts out with lots of information about health and overall well-being. After all, there is more to life than makeup and good hair days.

With that being said, it is often hard to feel good about ourselves when we don’t look our very best. Not to overgeneralize too much, but I think that women are especially impacted when they have a physical attribute that makes them feel self-conscious.

Several months ago, I was personally dealing with some postpartum hair loss and hair loss as a side effect of my autoimmune disorders.  I’d lose chunks of hair every time I washed it or brushed it, and before long, my hairline had really receded and I had one of the most pathetic looking ponytails that I had ever seen.

I am sure that most people probably didn’t even notice the thinning hair, and I am very much aware that, in the grand scheme of things, losing some hair isn’t the worst thing in the world.  Things could certainly be much worse.  However, I was still frustrated and kept wondering if the hair loss was ever going to stop.

After much research, putting the tips below into practice, and a little patience, I was finally able to start growing back some fuller hair again after about 6-8 weeks.  Even my hair stylist commented on the visible new hair growth during my last appointment.  (By the way, I have little baby hairs sprouting all over my head at the moment.)

12 tips for promoting thicker hair & managing hair loss

All of these tips are essential for healthy hair in general, so you might find them useful even if you aren’t trying to thicken up your hair.

1.  Use products formulated for thinning hair.

I have been using the Age Defying Thinning Hair System by Andalou Naturals for the past two months, and I really do think it has made a huge difference as far as re-growth.  I have the kit which comes with shampoo, conditioner, and a treatment. It is supposed to “stimulate cell renewal, sustain healthy growth cycle, and help protect against chronological aging.”  The products are 100% sulfate free and safe for color treated hair which means that they are gentle on the hair making it easier for new healthy hair to grow.

2.  Massage your scalp with castor oil.

I dedicated a whole post to castor oil not that long ago, so you should check it out if you’re interested in reading about its beauty benefits in more detail.   I’ve been applying some of the oil to my roots for about 6 months now- massaging it in well for several minutes before sleeping with it in my hair overnight.  I do this on the nights before I plan to wash my hair since it is a very thick and heavy oil. This process is supposed to stimulate the scalp and promote hair growth.

3.  Don’t wash your hair every day.

Washing our hair every day can strip it of its natural oils causing it to become dry and brittle.  Try to limit your washings to just a couple of times a week to improve the condition of your hair.  In case you’re wondering, I wash my hair every other day.  I wish that I could go longer, but my roots tend to get oily even with the use of a dry shampoo.

4.  Use a tangle teezer.

I remember reading an article in Seventeen magazine way back in the day that said to use a wide tooth comb on damp hair rather than a brush.  For whatever reason, the advice always stuck with me, so for years, I never really used anything other than a comb on my hair after washing it.  Not that long ago, I ditched my comb and replaced it with a tangle teezer and never looked back.  It is the most gentle tool I have ever used on my delicate damp hair which means less breakage, less tugging and pulling, and healthier happier hair (if hair was capable of having emotions, that is).

5.  Avoid heat styling.

I air dry my hair on most days and rarely use a hair dryer anymore.  If I am going to use any hot tools, I always apply a heat protectant first.  Here’s a more natural option by Desert Essence.

6.  Eat foods that are known for promoting healthy hair & drink lots of water.

Beauty really starts from the inside, so that’s why I always try to stay hydrated and eat foods that are known to promote healthy hair, such as salmon, blueberries, spinach, walnuts, sweet potatoes, lentils, bell peppers, eggs, and Greek yogurt.

7.  Consider taking a supplement. 

Biotin is probably the most commonly used supplement for hair growth, but it makes me break out when I take it.  I prefer to take MSM, a naturally occurring form of sulfur required for healthy collagen and keratin, which are necessary for hair growth.

8.  Use a satin pillowcase.

Satin pillowcases are more gentle on our hair than regular pillowcases and even have an extra bonus- they help to prevent wrinkles!

9.  Consider cutting your hair.

This one is very personal, but I found that chopping off my hair (with the assistance of a professional of course) has really helped to repair it.  All of my dead ends are gone, and because my hair is shorter, I can blow dry it in just a few minutes (on the days when I cannot wait for it to air dry) which means less time under all of that damaging heat.

10.  Avoid over-processing your hair.

Chemical straightening, bleaching, coloring, and perming are all really hard on our hair.  I try to stretch my colorings out as long as possible to avoid frying and damaging by hair.

11.  Protect your hair from the sun.

Too much exposure to the sun can cause premature aging, and this applies to our hair as well as our skin.  Sun exposure can lead to dry and brittle hair that is prone to breakage.  I always wear a hat when I am outside for an extended period of time and try to limit my time outdoors to the early morning and early evening when the sun isn’t as strong.

12.  Don’t stress out about it.

I really tried not to stress too much about my hair loss. For one thing, stress has been linked to hair loss, but most importantly, I didn’t want it to become some huge issue that affected my life in a major way.  I knew that I couldn’t control what was happening, but I could control how I reacted to it.  So, I tried to stay calm and put everything you’ve read about here into practice.

 

The bottom line is that if your hair is going to fall out then there probably isn’t much you can do to stop it.  You can, however, encourage new hair growth as I covered above.  If you find that you are really losing a lot of hair and it doesn’t seem to be stopping, you might want to see a doctor, as hair loss can sometimes be a symptom of a medical issue.

 

Do you have any tips to add?  Please share!

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16 Comments

  1. Protection from the sun and cold (do not go outside with wet hair in frigid temps). Protein in the diet as well as drinking plenty of water. A good cut every 6 to 8 weeks is best for healthy hair – I have short hair so I go every 4 to 5 weeks. Invest in good brushes and detangler combs – keep them clean too. Great Share – Happy Day 🙂

  2. Due to a year of intense stress and my thyroid needing to be regulated, I’ve lost almost half of my hair. My hair dresser reminds me I have plenty of hair but I know what it used to be…. I am going to try the shampoo you suggested as I’ve been unhappy with the results I’ve seen. True, there are many worse things we could encounter but we are attached to our hair.

    • I am so sorry to hear about your hair loss. It is hard for a man to lose hair, so for a woman, I feel like it is 20 times worse! I’ve had such great results with the shampoo/conditioner/treatment and actually just reordered my second kit. By the way, I learned that it is a bit cheaper on Amazon. 😉 Please let me know how it works for you and good luck!

  3. I’m glad you’ve had success with growing fuller and longer hair back. I have always had thin hair so have looked into natural methods to make it fuller. My mother also lost a lot of her naturally full and thick hair after I was born and has been frustrated with it ever since (22 years later…) so I will be showing her this article. Is the MSM supplement expensive? Where do you get yours? Thanks!

  4. Oh, and if you had to pick your top 3 of these methods that are your favorites and seemed to work the best from your experience, which would they be?

    • Ooh, this is a toughie! Haha. I think I need to say they would be diet, scalp massage with castor oil, and the supplements. The shampoo/conditioner are up there, but I think that I get a lot of those same benefits with the castor oil. I cannot say enough great things about scalp massages. I make my husband rub my head every night while we are on the couch watching TV. LOL.

  5. Thanks for these tips! I’m always looking for ways to promote hair growth and obtaining healthy hair. Will have to check out Andalou’s system now.

  6. Thank you! I will show her this link.

  7. My hair is at that point where it’s long, but I don’t think it will grow any longer AND I notice more hair is falling out – it’s like it’s trying to tell me something. My plan was actually to cut a few inches off next time I get it highlighted (hopefully near the end of this month). And then I’ll use these tips because I need to make sure I don’t lose anymore hair!

  8. Great tips. These tips should be a good to follow for everyone who wants to have a well-managed & growing hair with managing their hair loss issues. Use of the best therapy like Root Deep-Hair Fall Therapy, can be also a good option for controlling hair fall.

  9. Great tips, Erin. I have experimented washing my hair once in 2 days and now it is in a better shape. I think that the washing technique which we are using is very important. I used to massage my hair, but since it is curly, it was not that easy to condition split ends and brush it afterwards. Now I am massaging only the scalp where the hair growth actually occurs and just leave the foam to wash my ends naturally.
    The end result is smoother, shinier hair.

    I am a vegetarian and definitely need to carefully select my nutrition. Taking a hair growth supplement along with a well balanced diet, including all essential minerals and vitamins, is the right way to go (I have curly, but fine hair).

    I represent Viviscal and we have recently posted some updated tips that focus on getting a longer hair. Check it out – we’d love to know your thoughts: http://www.viviscal.com/blog/5-tips-how-to-make-your-natural-hair-grow-faster/

    • Hi Annie! Thank you for your comment. I have heard many wonderful things about Viviscal, and I actually planned to use it after I have my baby in January! 🙂

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